Bernadette Smith is a woman of strength, wisdom, and endurance, as she struggled to conquer the trials in her life that caused her to become bitter about the church, the pastors, the bible, and even with God because of the things that she went through.
She wanted nothing to do with the Christian world.
She found herself in a very dry and incomplete situation in her life, crying out with no one understanding how she felt or what she was going through; beating herself down repeatedly; asking herself if it was her fault for putting her faith in the pastors who were supposed to help her to grow in God.
She was wondering how God, who is supposed to love her, allowed her to be hurt and disappointed over and over again, when all she has ever done was love him, trust him, and believe in his word. She tried moving on with her life, but every time she visited a church that had a young man as a pastor, she walked out of the church saying to herself that no male pastor could ever preach to her again.
One day, while in the kitchen washing the dishes, she heard a voice say to her, “Bernadette it’s time to forgive! Forgive!”
She began to ignore the voice that she heard, knowing that it was God speaking to her. The voice kept on telling her that it is time to forgive, and her mind went back to what happened in both churches, causing the anger to stir up in her heart once again.
She said to God, “Why do I have to forgive when I have done nothing wrong? How can
you ask me to forgive? I am not forgiving anyone. I have managed to go on with my life
without forgiving them, so why should I forgive now? Tell the people that hurt me to ask
me to forgive them.”
Then God began to speak to her again, “If you don’t forgive them, you will never
be healed, and you can never fulfill what I have called you to do. Your hurts and
disappointments were all part of my plans for your life.”